Disney announced the first movie outside the core Star Wars Saga.
Disney announced today at the annual shareholder meeting that Rogue One will be the first movie in a series of Star Wars adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga. Rogue One will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and written by Oscar nominee Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, Antz). The first actress cast is Felicity Jones (photo), who got an Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim for her performance in The Theory of Everything.
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With Rogue One Disney seems to start the evolution of Star Wars into a giga franchise like the Marvel Universe.
Rogue One is the idea of John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic. He will executive produce along with Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knight Rises, Fast & Furious 6) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds).
The Rogue One starts shooting this summer in London and is due for release on December 16, 2016.
Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger also confirmed that Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII. The movie, which continues the saga after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is set for release on May 26, 2017.
This date is forty years and a day after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. Johnson is widely considered one of cinema’s most gifted young filmmakers, having directed the modern sci-fi classic, Looper, as well as Brick and The Brothers Bloom. He was also behind the camera for three episodes of the critically-acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad, including “Ozymandias,” which series creator Vince Gilligan named as the best installment of the show.
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Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, producer of Looper, Don Jon, Brick, and The Brothers Bloom, are on board to produce, and J.J. Abrams will serve as executive producer. Disney also announced today Frozen 2.